Bahrain - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Bahrain launches its first 5G commercial network

In 2019 mobile broadband subscriptions far exceed fixed broadband access in Bahrain with over a 90% market share. Mobile data is growing faster than voice and it serviced by well-developed LTE networks, which also lay the foundation for future 5G deployment.

The telecommunications regulator (TRA) in Bahrain has been working hard to resolve any regulatory or spectrum hurdles in readiness for 5G. This government support, along with proactive operators, resulted in Batelco launching the first commercial 5G network in Bahrain in mid-2019.

Bahrain’s telecommunications industry is guided by its Fourth National Telecommunications Plan which focuses on fibre-optic infrastructure deployment and establishing affordable prices for high-speed access. It also includes high level strategies for 5G readiness. Bahrain has also deployed its own National Broadband Network (NBN).

Overall, Bahrain is demonstrating a high-level of telecoms maturity for the Middle East region. It offers a competitive environment which is well regulated and incorporates significant LTE infrastructure, 5G readiness and a National Broadband Network. This report includes BuddeComm’s Telecoms Maturity Index which measures and ranks the maturity of a country’s telecoms industry on a scale of 1 to 100. All countries are placed into one of three categories: ‘Market Leaders’, ‘Market Challengers’ and ‘Emergents’, according to their Market Index score.

Key developments:

  • In mid-2019 the TRA renewed the mobile frequency licences held by Batelco and Zain for another ten-year period.
  • The TRA was offering more mobile spectrum for tender in mid-2019.
  • Batelco’s split into two divisions was formally finalised in May 2019.
  • Batelco announced the launch of the Batelco Gulf Network (BGN) in 2018.
  • In 2018 VIVA Bahrain acquired MENA Telecom.

Companies covered in this report include:

Batelco, MenaTelecom (acquired by VIVA), Kalaam Telecom, Noor-sat, Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market

    • Historical overview
    • Market overview
      • Market analysis
    • Other recent developments
  • Regional Middle East Market Comparison

    • Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI)
      • TMI versus GDP
      • Market Leaders
      • Market Challengers
      • Market Emergents
      • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
      • Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
      • GCC countries fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Regulatory environment

    • Regulatory authority
    • Overview
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Bahrain
      • First National Telecommunications Plan
      • Second National Telecommunications Plan
      • Third National Telecommunications Plan
      • Fourth National Telecommunications Plan
    • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) licences
    • Interconnect
    • Access
    • Number portability
    • Privatisation
    • Mobile licenses
      • Second mobile licence
      • Third mobile licence
    • Subscriber registration
      • Prepaid subscriber registration
      • SIM card verification
    • Roaming tariff reduction
    • Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
    • Spectrum developments
  • Fixed network operators in Bahrain

    • Overview
    • Bahrain telecommunications company (Batelco)
    • Alternative operators
      • MenaTelecom (acquired by VIVA)
      • Kalaam Telecom
      • 2Connect (revoked)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • National telecom network
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine/terrestrial cable networks
      • Satellite networks
      • Noor-sat (acquired by Eutelsat)
  • Smart infrastructure

  • Wholesaling

    • Overview
  • Broadband access market

    • Market analysis
    • Broadband statistics
      • National Broadband Network (NBN)
    • Other fixed broadband services
      • Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
  • Digital economy

  • Mobile communications

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • General statistics
    • Mobile voice
      • Prepaid
    • Mobile broadband statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • GSM, 3G
      • LTE/4G
      • 5G
    • Major mobile operators
      • Batelco
      • Zain Bahrain
      • Viva Bahrain / STC Bahrain
    • Mobile handsets
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Bahrain - 2019
  • Table 2 – Bahrain - GDP and inflation – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 3 – Bahrain - telecom sector revenue – 2006 – 2017
  • Table 4 – Bahrain - telecom sector revenue breakdown – 2013 – 2016
  • Table 5 – Mobile number accepted portability requests – 2017 – Q1 2019
  • Table 6 – Batelco revenue for Group and Bahrain – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Batelco (Bahrain) revenue by division - 2018
  • Table 8 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 – 2004
  • Table 9 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – Q1 2019
  • Table 10 – Internet users and penetration estimates - 2011 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Fixed broadband subscribers –2014 – Q1 2019
  • Table 12 – Historic – Bahrain - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 – 2008
  • Table 13 – Bahrain - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2009 – Q1 2019
  • Table 14 – Bahrain - total prepaid mobile subscribers - 1999 – Q1 2019
  • Table 15 – Bahrain - retail mobile market revenue – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 16 – Bahrain - mobile ARPS – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 17 – Bahrain - mobile subscribers with active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2013 – Q1 2019
  • Table 18 – Batelco total group mobile subscribers – 2005 – Q1 2018
  • Table 19 – Zain Bahrain – revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX and ARPU - 2005 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Zain Bahrain – market share of mobile data revenues – 2015 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Middle East – Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI)
  • Chart 2 - Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita - 2018
  • Chart 3 – Middle East – mobile subscriber versus mobile broadband penetration - 2018
  • Chart 4 – Middle East – Fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 5 – GCC countries – fixed vs mobile broadband penetration

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Middle East – Country by country - TMI rank and industry description
  • Exhibit 2 – Bahrain – National fixed voice services operators
  • Exhibit 3 – Historical overview of Mena Telecom

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